Sunday, November 29, 2009

Off to Scotland!

Its 3:15 in the morning and I'm leaving in 15 minutes to go to Scotland! I'm pretty excited, despite the wee hour of the morning that it is! I'm going with my friend Mariel and Sarah Jay. Should be a good last big bang to my time over here in Ireland.
Just wanted to ask a quick favor of y'all though before I leave. Please send your love, thoughts and prayers to my Grandma Martha today as she is having surgery today at the age of 91. The surgery itself isn't that major, but just worried about putting someone her age under.
So as I'm off for another adventure, I'm still remembering those back home :)
16 days - love and miss you all!

Talk to y'all again in three days!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tis the Season!

"Tis the season to be jolly . . ."
The girlies and I set out for a Christmas Bazaar about a 30 minute walk from campus held at St. Killian's School, which is a French and German school. This place was packed with traditional and nontraditional Christmas gifts from both countries, people with all sorts of nationalities and smells that truly whetted the appetite!

It started at the gate into the school grounds were we paid the 'family fare,' because one it saved us money and two, we truly have become a little family! Then once we finally got into the school, I would say about half of it was filled with vendors and decorated for the season. After having a spectacular Thanksgiving meal, I feel ready to move onto Christmas! To let y'all in on a little secret, I've been listening to Christmas music for about a week now :)

Of course we didn't leave this wonderful cultural experience with our hands empty! Erika got a little house that you're suppose to burn incense in, but she just got it for her family's Christmas village. Alyssa got a really cute pair of handmade earrings. I got two kikoys which are African pieces of colorful fabric that you can wear all sorts of ways, but I bought them mainly for being scarfs. I also enjoyed a pipe man, which was this yummy sweet bread shaped like a man and he was holding a pipe and his feet were dipped in chocolate to look like he had boots on! YUM! Felt slightly cannibalistic, but it was yummy! And the best part was that we all got the advent calenders that have little doors on them with pieces of chocolate behind them to count down to Christmas! I used to always get them as a kid and when we found them for a euro- Deal!

In other Irish news - the Irish rugby team beat the reining world champion South African team today in Dublin in a foggy, cold match. I caught the last 10 minutes or so of the match at my place and I thought my Irish roommate was going to have a heart-attack as the Irish held off the South African's final push and came out victorious 15-10. Professional rugby players are HUGE! Their necks are the size of a telephone pole! One of Irish player's shirt got ripped and it was seriously like the Hulk was busting outta his clothes, minus the being green part. So, yay! Go Ireland! :)

When I said a foggy and cold match, I meant it! It was cold today! The day started out very clear but soon this fog set in and it was kind of weird. Cool, but weird. And it was just cold all day! I didn't bring my big winter coat with me, so I had plenty of layers on and I think my saving grace was the fact that we were walking and not just standing outside. I can't imagine what it would be like to just sit and watch a game, but they had body heat going for them as the crowd for the rugby game was a sold-out one.

Upcoming events:
- Josh, my roommate that moved to Lyon, France for an internship is coming back for a visit. He'll be here tomorrow then most of the week.
- I'm leaving for Scotland early Monday morning! This has all the makings to be one of the best trips yet, except its not the whole crew going, but I'm super excited to go. But I do have to say that I think that my mom is even more excited for me to go to 'heaven on earth.' She has sent me some documentaries or programs that she has shown her classes that I still have watch before I leave.

- Finals! No joke- I am actually worried about these. My grade for my economics class is based 100% on my final. The lack of continual assessment has really been a major bummer for me and I probably haven't been the most studious student since I've been here, so after I get back from Scotland, I am going to have no life! But that will let the time go by faster and then I'm home!
- HOME! That is close enough on the radar for me to mention! 17 days now as it is now Sunday morning. I really can't believe it! 2 and half weeks and then stage three of three of this crazy year will be done! Then you know, no big deal, but my brother is getting married! So, no, no excitement over here! lol! Try jubilation, elation and pure joy! Again, disclaimer- Ireland is great, but Indiana rocks my socks and there is truly no place like home! :)

Alright- bedtime and I'm off to Scotland in a little more than 24 hours!
Cheers to you all!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving - Again!

Just wanted to put up a quick note to let y'all know that I didn't go without the traditional Thanksgiving meal today in Ireland. Although the International Office here on campus put on a Thanksgiving meal for us, my friends and I wanted to take it a step further and attempt to prepare a traditional meal on our own- no moms or grandmas! SCARY! Preparations for a 7:30 dining time started around 1 with the making of my pie crust.
With recipes in hand, us girls hit the kitchen and by 7:30 right on the dot we had the following spread:

Main Course:
An amazing turkey - fully basted and 'carved' by yours truly!
Homemade corn casserole - Alyssa's favorite Thanksgiving dish and impressively made with Ireland's lack of corn products!
Broccoli and Cauliflower with cheese and glazed carrots - even me, not liking veggies, ate these suckers right up!
Mashed potatoes - peeled and cooked the real way with gloves of garlic added!
Stuffing- that was actually used as stuffing inside the turkey.

Sugar Cream Pie - which is actually Milk Pie apparently in some other countries.
Carrot Cake - we like to keep some of our desserts healthy.
Brownies - our Australian friend felt like she needed to contribute somehow :)

It was a very delightful evening with music and candles and we did it all without our moms! Well, we got our recipes off of them and some substitution advice and probably learned everything we do know about cooking from them after years of watching - but we did it! And now I'm stuffed!

So tis off to bed with me,
without any football to see.
But I shall go happily,
for cooking is no longer a mystery.
Twas a Thanksgiving with lots of style,
spent here on the Emerald Isle :)


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I would especially like to wish a warm and happy Thanksgiving to my Mom, Dad and my brother Ben who are celebrating the day down in Lexington Kentucky. This year is kind of weird for my family and the holidays as I'm over here in Ireland for Thanksgiving and Ben will be on his honeymoon over Christmas.

Ben couldn't get off of work today to come home for Thanksgiving so the parents went to him. At first the plan was originally to eat out, but Ben still insisted on a traditional Thanksgiving with the three of them so Mom is up for the challenge today of cooking in an unfamiliar kitchen. I really hope that they take pictures because Mom is all about the presentation of the meal and all and I can just see it now- my brother's mismatched china, silverware and glasses compared to mom's antique china, sterling silver silverware and crystal glasses or pewter goblets. The one common thread though will be that they will have the family together. It'll be my turn for the one-on-one attention at Christmas, so I'm alright with that ;)

Alright- so here's a go at the traditional list of what I'm thankful for:

- Obviously family and friends! Being away from them has truly made me thankful for my friends and family back in the States after I realized that I miss them like crazy! And I'm thankful for my new friends here in Ireland too. Alyssa, Mariel, Erika, Ally, Miriam, all my Equine Industry classmates, the Equestrian Club members, and I could keep going. These people have made Ireland such a great time for me and I'm excited to share a great Thanksgiving meal with most of them later today :)

- My health. It seems especially cancer effects everyone in one form or another. Currently my neighbor is struggling with esophagus cancer and doing well, but cancer is such a scary thing. I'm thankful that I've had the motivation to work out over here and I'll probably be coming home weighing less or at least a lot more toned :)

- Using writing as an outlet. I really think the 'click-clack' of the keys on my keyboard is therapy for me. Through this blog, songs and other random writings that I've done here it's really been awesome for me to put words together and come out with a pretty cool product. This is a gift that I've just recently really used and I love it!

- This past year. I can't even begin to count the experiences and opportunities I've had this past year. Texas was amazing because it was me trying something totally new. New job, new place, new style of riding and I really fell in love with the lone star state. I developed a great family and community down there and I can't wait to go back for a visit. Then off to Reno. While yes it was a new place again, it was my second summer with Deere so I had an idea of what was going on, but my project was something totally new that threw a whole new learning curve at me and opened doors to places I thought I would only see if I'm lucky enough to vacation there someday! Now IRELAND?!?!?!?!?! I am truly a blessed person and I realize that and try my hardest everyday not to take it for granted but to seize the opportunity to its fullest.

So it is indeed "Right to give our Thanks and Praise" today and everyday. I try to thank God for the many blessings that He gives me everyday and I hope y'all have a warm, happy and very blessed Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009


It's WINDY! I honestly have never experienced wind like this before. Its bad. My poor hair really doesn't stand a chance - especially with how long it is now. My low ponytail when my hair is straight is about a foot and half long now!

Its sad cuz I'll run in the rain and the cold, but not this wind. It would be pointless, you would hardly go anywhere. I'll jut be doing the classes at the gym more often I suppose.

So today is a strike day for the public sector. Lots of lectures were cancelled and the buses are pretty much not running at all. Good thing all my classes were already done and I don't need to go anywhere today. So today I wrote a letter of support for my academic advisor for an award that he was nominated for and also a letter of support for the field trips that we got to take for one of my classes this semester. The teacher has been getting some grief from the department about the cost of transportation and all. These trips were amazing and I happily wrote a letter for my teacher :) Then I went and bought my ticket for "A Nightmare Before Christmas" that the Drama Society is putting on that I'm seeing with my friends tonight :) That will be fun!

But, I have a test in the morning! A marketing MCQ (Multiple Choice Question) Exam. Really, I should be able to go over my notes for a little bit and be grand - even though its probably one of the careers I'll end up in, marketing really is just common sense!

Do you like the 'face lift' I gave to my blog? I do! Nice change of pace!
Countdown is at 22 days, so I better go and study, study, study! Oh Boy!


PS. How was that for a short blog Sarah Jay?

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm Published Again - This Time in Ireland!

This will be a short (short for my usual) but exciting post to let y'all feel the excitement that I have right now! Today in my Irish Equine Industries class we presented our media projects. We were to find a news story and write an article, then present all of our research and such to our lecturer and the editor of the Irish Field, a national Equine newspaper here in Ireland. I was excited at the very beginning of the semester when I heard about this project, but unsure what I would write about to appeal to a mainly Thoroughbred Racing readership.

I knew I wanted to do something to tie me being American and loving the American Quarter Horse to the Irish Equine Industry. First stop- the Internet and Google! What did I find? The Irish Quarter Horse Association. I thought originally doing a story on the Association itself and its efforts to grow and all, but then I came across a news blurb about Ollie Galligan, an Irishman who had moved to the States to open his own reining training business and his efforts to qualify for the World Equestrian Games. SWEET! Perfect- my favorite discipline, an Irishman representing his country in a sport that most of the Irish Equine Industry knows nothing about. Sounds like news to me!

I then contacted Ollie who was more than willing to cooperate and contribute and I was "off to the races," actually off to Galway where I wrote the article on the bus ride there :) So right, keeping this short- the article came out great! Had my friend Andrea Caudill from AQHA edit it for me so it was in tip-top shape and turned it in.

After going through pretty much the same story as I did with you to the class today presenting my article and showing them some pretty sweet YouTube videos of the different maneuvers of reining, I turned it over for questions and received nothing but wonderful compliments from both my lecturer and the editor of the Irish Field! Mark, the editor, even admitted to googling my article to make sure it wasn't something already published, because it was that good! He said that it was written so well that he could put it in, as is, for the next issue and that I really should consider becoming a journalist! This was all in front of the class, so I wasn't sure how to take it all really- humbly of course and say the most sincere thank you that I could. Definitely said some more thank you's to the AQHA publications staff as they took this fresh piece of canvas, with apparently some hidden talent, and painted a beautiful journalist out if it!

So I can't wait to pick up a copy this Saturday's Irish Field and hopefully see my article and I'm really excited to drum up some press for Ollie! He's a great guy with a great story who took a huge risk coming to the States and it's paid off well for him.

So what am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? Truly recognizing my gift of writing and using it to help others. God has blessed me with so much and getting this article published and receiving those wonderful compliments today, makes me excited to see what the future will hold and where else my byline might pop up! Even though the magazines at AQHA had an international readership, this is still way cool to be published in an Irish publication!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

My 51st Post!

Since I started this blog in the summer, my blog dashboard thing says that I am currently writing my 51st post! At this point I think I must have been allergic to that writing bug when it bit me last Spring! But, I haven't minded and I hope that I have brought some sunshine, entertainment into any one's life who reads this or at least provided them some time-wasting material :)
The count-down to being home now officially stands at 25 days! Again, please let me re-iterate that the countdown does not exist because I hate it here so much that I just want to go home, it exists because I'm really excited to finally be HOME! A year away is far too much for this Indiana girl- but its been great really! And Ireland is great- just wanted to clear that up!
I've been a nerd these past few days and plan to continue that pattern except for during my trip to Scotland coming up in about a week. I've been studying like crazy- cuz my finals count from anywhere from 60% to 100% of my marks here at UCD. Stupid really and I hate this kind of assessment- I don't do well with them, but its what they do here and I don't have a choice really. But I did go out for my roommate Ally's bday last night. We went to a new club that I hadn't been to before called The Palace. It was pretty cool I suppose- but really just the same old, same old: Broken class on the dance floor, annoying guys that won't leave you alone and the occasional alcoholic beverage spilt on you. I love dancing with my girls- and that's all I wanted- I literally had to shove a guy off of me three times last night... grrrr... was seriously going to deck him if he tried one more time! I was sober all night and I should be more positive because I tend to give that impression that I'm a positive person apparently, so I will say the music was cool, the lights and fog machine were redic and the place was decorated pretty cool. It was Ally's bday and that's where she wanted to go- so Happy BDAY Ally!
Last weekend's trip to Galway was Amazing! I know I blogged about it last Saturday night and the only addition I will make to it is a brief description of church on Sunday and then add some pictures for you. I went to a Methodist church Sunday morning like a 2 minute walk from my hostile. The main preacher was gone, but the associate gave me a warm welcome. I was actually the first one there, before the pastor before anyone and it was 3 minutes before the service was suppose to start! Once the music started going, I looked around to realize I was 1 of the maybe 15 white people there. The majority of the congregation was African, which was actually way cool! It was a very young church with plenty of little ones and it was a fairly high-energy atmosphere in the room. The sermon was somewhat scattered and long ( I had to leave before she was done to catch my bus back to Dublin) but the main part that stuck with me was when she talked about our relationship to God through our Spirit. This includes your conscious and your intuition- not feelings, emotions or thoughts. This was the kind of relationship that Christ has with God- so in tune with his SPIRIT that he could communicate to God in this manner. Something to definitely work on for all of us I'm assuming.
The Church
"Living on the Edge"
That's about a 100 meter drop!
Cliffs of Moher!

Going beyond the barriers - well worth it!

Again, living on the edge- these were smaller cliffs though.

I got an assignment back from my Farm Management class. Its a 400 level class and has proven to be somewhat challenging for me. This assignment was based on our farm visit to a dairy that we made and was basically a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats for those of you who haven't had that ingrained into your head through marketing and management classes.) I was worried for a few reasons- 1) I'm not that familiar with Dairy operations to begin with 2) Definitely not familiar with an IRISH Dairy operation and 3) I sort of let the due date creep up on me like the night before at 11 pm. But here's the good news... I got a B on it :) Yay for having good writing skills. I think I lost the most marks on the partial budget aspect of it, but when the teacher was going over it I hit most of the main points that he was looking for and said that an A or a B were both very good marks :)

Alrighty... back to the books. Studying will help this time fly by and I'll be home soon! :) The Christmas decorations around Dublin aren't helping my case of homesickness.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Time is Ticking

I know the subject of my last post was not very upbeat or happy- but it was definitely a good reality check for me, one I needed to appreciate the right things in life for the remaining time that I am here in Ireland. A month from Monday!
I'm sitting in my hostel in Galway enjoying the free Wi-Fi and figured I would take this opportunity to catch y'all up on the Tetrathlon in a little more detail, my week and then this fabolous weekend so far!

Tetrathlon- So I know I gave y'all the just in my last post, but it was truly an amazing weekend. I was so proud of myself for competing and finishing! The scores came in and it turns out I did not do that shabby for never of hearing of this competition until about 3 months ago. I ended up 21st out of 53 girls that competed- respectable in my book. Don't forget that 6th place finish in the shooting :) And just the overall 'craic' of it all- including rocking out the cowboy boots! Pictures keep surfacing from the weekend and its great to see them all :)
Quick funny story about the shooting though- you get a 4 minute practice round before shooting your two rounds of 5 shots. My first practice shot I took- I hit the light bulb above the target and must have hit some sort of wire as the rest of the 14 or so targets' light bulbs went out as well! Great start! Obviously needing help, one of the senior members on the team that was acting as a coach came over and gave me some pointers that were obviously very good as I was the best female shooter from UCD! :)
The jumping was absolutely thrilling! Every jump was such a rush! I was pretty excited to go over the last jump though and still be on top of the horse. There was a medic team there all day and I just about introduced myself first thing in the morning- you know, get the awkward 'get-to-know you stage' over with :) But that was unneeded and a lot of my teammates thought I did pretty good for my first time, the captain of our team found out after the fact that I have never jumped and said she didn't even realize! So I must of done something right :)

This week was good- just tried to get a lot of work done so I could take off for the weekend. I have a media project due for my Equine Industries class and I did my article on an Irishman that moved to America to become a reining horse trainer! Perfect! I really like how the article turned out and hopefully it'll get published :) Oh- this week was also used to catch up on my sleep from last weekend. Seriously, a 6-hour nap isn't normal- but it was much needed on Wednesday and the rain definitely helped sooth me sleep.

GALWAY!!! All of this leads me to where I am now! My friends Alyssa, Mariel and myself headed out Thursday afternoon to Galway. The first night we just cooked in the hostel and walked around town some and called it a night as we had an early ferry to catch to the Aran Islands. A bus ride was needed first to get to the ferry and it took us along the Galway coastline which was just the first indicator that this was going to be an amazing weekend. Then the ferry ride! Out on the open waters, which as a Midwesterner, I don't get much of that ;) Then we made it to the island, waded through all the guys trying to give us tours, found our hostel and got on bikes and away we went! The weather was perfect and we had about an hour or so ride to the other side of the island to get the fort ruins. Literally, we walked right up to the cliff's edge- absolutely breathtaking! Then we rode back along the coastline and even though we were beat- it was well worth the physical exercise!

Our hostel on the island was a bit shady to say the least, it was towards the outside of town it was basically a house that has been turned into a hostel. But it was a bed and an adventure to say the least, especially walking down the pitch-black road to go to the local pub for dinner. We were creative with our forms to find warmth as the hostel was somewhat cold. We lingered in the pub for awhile, I lit a coal fire and we cuddled under blankets.

The next morning started before the sun was even up and we enjoyed a sunrise ferry ride back to mainland! The views and the scenery just kept getting better and better. It was cold on the top deck, but totally worth it :) Once back in Galway, we met our friend Erika who came down this morning and we were off for the bus tour of the Cliffs of Moher. Again, very breathtaking and fabulous weather. As Mariel says, we are just lucky when it comes to weather- hardly a raindrop so far this weekend. Also, Mariel was playing mom the entire tour cuz I was going past those signs that say 'do not pass' and she was expressing her concern. But everyone else was doing it and I'm writing this blog aren't I? The bus tour took us to some other very scenic areas as well for plenty of photo-ops. I have had to be very conservative with my camera use though this weekend unfortunately. Silly me, working up until the minute we left on Thursday, forgot to charge my battery. So it came on very sparingly and used wisely. I still got some great pictures though, which I'll try to add later.

Alright... tomorrow morning I found a Methodist church like a minute from the hostel, so I'm going to check that out in the morning and I think us girls are just going to tour the town and then catch the bus back to Dublin at 4!

Seriously, I have been so blessed with all of these opportunities and to take in God's creation- literally this weekend, it took my breath away! A month left- still lots to do, plenty to study and then I'M HOME! :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Reality - Life

So this blog I know was scheduled to be a play-by-play blow of the weekend and all its great stories about the tetrathlon this weekend- well I'll give that a quick summary, because there are more important and real things going on in my life as of tonight.

Shooting- shot an 86 out of 100- good for 6th place out of the 55 some odd girls competing.
Running- took off about 10 seconds off my mile time.
Swimming- swam my goal of 125 meters in 3 minutes.
Riding- stayed on for a clear round with a refusal

Personally, I'm dealing with a lot tonight. I've had some major reality checks, cutting very deep. I was notified about the loss of Tyler Hatheway, the little brother of one of my good friends from high school, Josh, through a mutual friend on facebook. I know, sounds lame to hear on facebook, but being in Ireland- not too many other ways. I instantly starting crying- suddenly hit by grief for the family. I only met Tyler a hand full of times either at Josh's house during a study session or at a school function. He was Josh's 'little' brother, although he was physically bigger than Josh. Although they bickered and fought like most brothers do- I could tell that Josh loved him and even maybe liked him just a little bit.

Josh's dad was/ is a fairly consistent substitute teacher in the system as his other job allowed him the opportunity, and Mr. Hatheway truly saw it as an opportunity- he really connected with the kids and although he never came out and professed his Christianity while introducing himself to the class, you could tell he was one of those men who just loved God.

Josh was one of of my closer friends in high school and I regret the fact that this thing called college happened and we haven't kept in touch much. Now, I'm beginning to question why we got along so well cuz he would pester you and pick on you and debate with you until you were blue in the face. But that's Josh for you. I could have sworn that he as going to be a lawyer someday, but his love for physics got in the way for that. Josh and I tutored over at the middle school together and had great times creaming the kids in dodge ball and knock-out. We would occasionally let them win or gain a slight advantage, just to make them feel good about themselves, but we had to feel good about ourselves too :) We were also very active and involved in the South Madison Youth Commission together along with the same team for Teens Against Tobacco Use. Basically all that means is that we skipped a lot of school to do good things in the community :) Haha, it was definitely for legit reasons why we were excused out of class, but I'll admit we might have took our time getting back enjoying a Ricker's pop every now and then. Overall, we just got on really well and I'll admit, I even had a crush on him sophomore year. Obviously that didn't work out, as he is now engaged to a lovely young lady named Beth Brunner and I know they will both be extremely happy together.

His mother is lovely as well. Always extremely warm and welcoming and the kind of person that unintentionally stretches your grocery store run out by at least 20 minutes because its just nice to stop and chat for a bit if you ran into each other. I can't even imagine a mother's grief for a child. I hope I never have to. This past year I have known two mothers personally who have to battle with this grief. Carol Romine is about to witness the 1 year anniversary of her son dieing at the age of 22, and now, November 8th will always be in the back of Mrs. Hatheway's mind.

After seeing how some people treated the gift of life this weekend, basically abusing their bodies with personal choices made, and comparing it to a kid, a high school senior, who just lost his- a major case of reality has set in. What is really important in my life? Seriously, if I were to go, how would people remember me? Questions that are horrible to think about but you answer them with every choice that you make, everyday, every minute that you live. Ok, maybe not whether you want cereal or toast for breakfast, but you know what I mean.

So if you wouldn't mind, whether you know the Hatheways or not, whether you're a religious person or not, please keep them in your thoughts and pray for strength during this confusing, difficult and sad time.

Friday, November 6, 2009


"Tetrathlon? What is that?" I'm sure that is what some of you are thinking right now. No, it's not a triathlon, but a tetrathlon where one competes in running, swimming, shooting and show jumping! And I'm crazy enough to do it! And I leave in 2 and half hours for it :)

I first saw this competition on the UCD Equestrian website when I was looking through the different sports clubs before I came here. As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to compete and the time has finally come. So here's a breakdown of the events and then the events outside the events- aka the socializing that is going down this weekend as well:

4:00- leave UCD to Kells

Friday night- Rubik's Cube theme party where you show up wearing ridiculous solid colored clothing representing all the colors of the rubik's cube. Object is to end up in one color by the end of the night, but I kind of like the clothes that I'm going to be wearing, so no switching for me!

Saturday- Running: Time trial for 1500 meters, just shy of a mile.
Swimming: How many lengths of the pool that you can swim in 3 minutes (doesn't sound hard, but it is!)
Shooting: Pistols and you get a score out of 200, that's 20 shots w/ a bulls-eye counting as 10 points

Saturday night- FORMAL BALL!!! I'm super excited cuz the 'hard part' in my mind will be over and then I get to dress up and be pretty for the night :) I have a long black sparkley dress :)

Sunday- Show jumping! This will be my first full course to ever jump. Should be a riot especially since I'm going to be sporting the Justin, lime-green topped cowboy boots with a borrowed Hunt outfit- for those of you who aren't getting a hysterical visual in your head, pictures will be posted, but its going to be obvious that I'm American and I don't care that its obvious :) All my Irish friends think its going to be hilarious- which it will be!

Sunday afternoon- come back to Dublin and study like crazy for an exam I have on Monday :(

So this is it- I'm just going with a good attitude and what happens, happens and I'm just going to try and have a blast knowing that this will be one of the experiences that will make my Ireland adventure so memorable! So wish me luck!!!!!

Cheers :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Freak Out!

These past few days could be described as a series of 'freak outs.' Disclaimer: Nothing major happened, no bodily harm, no random attempts of any Egyptian business men picking me up, so don't hit the panic button or anything.

The first in the series I'm going to describe to you is just Halloween in general. I'm not really around children here in Dublin unless I'm in town and they are out with their parents, so some of the costumes I saw this weekend and last week (not just Halloween night), that ADULTS were wearing were a little frightening- the point of Halloween I suppose. I'll even include the moment when I was turning the corner and literally bumped into somebody who had scary clown make-up on. Somewhat comical now that I look back on it.
My Halloween was spent with my friend Sarah Jay and her friend from home, whose name was Sarah as well. I went as a cowgirl for just about the 4th straight year, but in all fairness I was 'Butch Cassidy' with my bestest friend 'The Sundance Kid' who was played by one of my bestest friends in real life, Miss Lindsey Junk. But, I promise, nothing remotely close to a cowgirl or Western themed outfit next year! We spent the majority of the evening at a really cool pub called the Bleeding Horse. Supposedly after some myth if you put the blood of a horse into a fountain in a nearby country-town, then you'll live forever- at least that is what an intoxicated Rockstar told me. It was a neat pub though with lots of steps and side rooms. Almost like a maze really. I was leading the three of us into the pub and as we were approaching the bouncers (who were also in costume as knights), one said to me, "Wait! Don't say anything . . . you guys are American!" Of course he was right- I think it was the John Deere camo hat that gave us away and the other Sarah had a Cubs jersey and hat on? How could he guess?

The next freak out was actually a very good one! It happened yesterday on yet another field trip that I took as part of one of my classes. We went to Jim Bolger's main training yard about 2 hours away from Dublin and this place was 'class, deadly and brilliant' according to my Irish classmates, my American adjectives used to describe this place would be amazing and awesome! He has 100 horses there in full training, enough walkers to have 60 horses walking at once, two all-weather gallops, two grass gallops, 2 horse spas and a treadmill! Not to mention the big 'lories' or horse trailers he had parked. Oh and a good looking John Deere tractor to keep the gallops maintained :) . The treadmill was the best part of the trip! He actually pulled a horse in and put him on and went through the gaits with us. It was awesome to actually see the horse in one spot going through all the gaits, you usually just observe this as they are passing by, but to see a horse in a run, pounding away at this treadmill was an amazing sight to see. I wish I would have seen this when trying to learn the gaits of the horse, cuz it would have made so much more sense as you could see the diagonal feet moving at the trot and the three beats of the canter! Sorry, I've switched over into horse mode, but it was just crazy cool!

Another 'freak-out' moment happened last night that I caused to someone else. My parents teach at Lapel High School and have for, um, awhile now, and their seniors have the option of taking a trip to Europe every year. One of the English teachers started it like 14 years ago and just has kept it going as they study British Literature, so why not take 17 and 18 year-olds on a 10 day whirl-wind tour of Europe? Anyways... my mom sent over a little care package that included my dress for the ball this weekend at the tetrathlon, with Jerry, the main teacher. So I had yet another adventure in down-town Dublin trying to find their hotel, which I successfully did :). I walk into the restaurant part and I see a boy wearing an Indiana State shirt and hear the American accents and walk over to the table where I recognize one of the boys as a kid from my church. He was too absorbed in his card game to notice me, so I said his name really loud in an accusing tone and he and all the other boys looked at me like, "What the heck?" The look on Will's face was priceless. I have already shared the experience with his little sister, which I'm sure she'll get a good, gut-wrenching laugh out of. Anyways, through the breaks in his stammers, I informed them that I'm studying abroad for the semester, yatta, yatta, but it was such a good 'freak out!'

So it was just freaky Monday yesterday as the final freak-out that I'm going to describe to you also occurred yesterday, but drug into the wee hours of this morning. I knew I had an assignment coming due in my Farm Management class, so I pulled out that paper to check on when that date was at 11pm last night, and sure enough it was today, November 3rd! @#$%!- yep that was pretty much my feeling last night and cause for a freak out for sure. So I stayed up until about 2:30 this morning with the help of chocolate digestives (cookies that are supposed to be eaten with tea, but are amazing on their own and typically really cheap) and orange juice. I got the majority of it done and then decided to get some sleep and finish it later this morning. So I went to bed and woke up at 7 to finish it and had a finished product at 8:30 this morning :) I get to class at 10am, have it all printed out and find out that it wasn't due until 5pm today. At that point though, I was done with it and turned it in. Maybe he'll give me a wink for having it done by class time. Some of the kids hadn't even started on it yet. I mean, I wasn't much better, but at least I appeared prepared, and its all about the impressions right?

Welp, I'm going to get started on another assignment that I know is due in two weeks, so I prevent a future freak-out. I hope all your Halloweens were great and that you're not having the amount of freak-outs that I've being having recently, although, not all have been bad.
Have a terrific Tuesday everyone.